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Samaritan Volunteers: Big Hearts, Generous Spirits

Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 19 – 25, 2020.  As President/CEO Mary Ann Boccolini recently said, “Despite current demands to be socially distant, we remain connected to one another, to those we serve, and to our community and world. That connection just may be slightly different…” To stay connected to each other, feel uplifted and inspired, and to celebrate big hearts and generous spirits, we are sharing stories about our Samaritan volunteers. Please check back as we will be updating this page through the month of April!

Patient/Family Volunteers

Patient and family volunteers visit patients in their homes and at The Samaritan Inpatient Hospice Centers to provide companionship.

Bob Leibrand

“I must confess, I have an ongoing love affair with Samaritan Hospice that began and grew as they provided the excellent palliative care and comfort my wife need and appreciated … The kindness exhibited by all was beyond my expectations and led me to become a Samaritan volunteer visitor,” explained Bob in Samaritan’s 2006 annual report. Read full story (PDF) >>

Bob volunteered for Samaritan, visiting veteran patients, for more than ten years before retiring at the age of 93. Enjoy this article featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2007 about a WWII connection he discovered with a patient. Read article now (PDF) >>

He was also featured in a video about Samaritan’s care for veterans.

Barbara Glass

Barbara Glass and Linda BrennanBarbara Glass, pictured with Volunteer Coordinator Linda Brennan in 2019, has been volunteering for Samaritan since 2011. She is a vigil volunteer who sits with patients during their final hours. And although she is the one volunteering her time, Barbara feels that patients have a lot to teach her too. “Hospice patients have a great awareness of the world around them and the world beyond this one – they see beauty in things that you would never think to acknowledge. They see something deeper at the end than we can ever know.” Read full story >>

In 2019, Barbara was named volunteer of the year by the Volunteer Center for South Jersey. Click here to read NJ.com article >>

Barbara recently added, “During this time of isolation as a result of COVID-19 I am missing my patients and spending time reflecting on past experiences volunteering for Samaritan. I have been blessed beyond measure by the patients and their families. It will be a wonderful day when I can resume visits.”

Rosalie Mittelman

Rosalie Mittelman“You came into my life 30 years ago during my husband’s last months; and then 25 years ago when I started volunteering- one of the best company and people I have ever been involved with. You have taught me so much about compassion, caring, sensitivity and dedication. Thank you again and again.” Rosalie was recognized at Samaritan’s annual Winterfest celebration for 25 years (3,500 hours) of volunteer service >>

Committee Member Volunteers

Committee members offer their professional expertise and time to staff. These volunteers may serve on Samaritan’s Board of Trustees, board committees, and advisory committees such as Community Advisory Committee, Via Lucis Committee, Sukkat Shalom Committee, Golf Tournament Committee and the Gala Committee.

Brother Tom Osorio, OH

Brother Tom Osorio of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God (pictured left in 2018 with previous committee co-chair Marge McGinley), has served as Samaritan’s Via Lucis committee co-chair for more than a decade. As noted in Samaritan’s 2008 annual report, Brother Tom championed hospice and palliative care as a caregiver, author, volunteer, educator, and advocate. When Brother Bernard Farrell, a member of Brother Tom’s religious order, developed Alzheimer’s Disease, Brother Tom took on the role of caregiver. He called Samaritan and was grateful for our help through Brother Bernard’s final months. He trained to become a patient volunteer and ultimately began serving a chair of Samaritan’s Catholic Hospice Committee. Read about Brother Tom in Samaritan’s 2008 Annual Report (PDF)>>

 

Cliff Mancine and Family

Enjoy this video shown at Samaritan’s annual gala in 2018. Samaritan honored The Mancine Family for their dedication to Samaritan. Cliff Mancine has served as golf committee co-chair for more than a decade and his family always lends a hand at Samaritan’s annual Giving Thanks Preserving Memories event.

The Hoey Family

Enjoy this video shown at Samaritan’s annual gala in 2020. Samaritan honored The Hoey Family for their dedication to Samaritan. Robert T. Hoey and Robert W. Hoey serve on the golf committee and family matriarch, Marie Hoey, volunteer at events and in the office for numerous decades.

Administrative Volunteers

Administrative volunteers help in our main office in Marlton with typing, filing, collating, data entry, and many other critical administrative tasks. Their behind-the-scenes labors of love help Samaritan’s many programs and patient/family services to operate efficiently.

Kodwo Adofo-Mensah, Medical Records

Kodwo Adofo-MensahSamaritan is an important leader in health care, helping patients with their illness and overall wellbeing. When I was searching for an organization to support Samaritan stood out for its reputation and caring ways and felt like a great fit.

I love volunteering for the Medical Records dept. building important information packets the nurses use when admitting patients to services. I also help with the Bereavement Dept. processing patient information. It’s great volunteering for Samaritan. I know that the volunteer work I am doing directly supports nurses, aides, and counselors. For excellent care, consider Samaritan first.

 

Rosalie CapellaRosalie Capella, Medical Records

My husband Bill had cancer and was going down rapidly. We both are coming down the steps of our second-story house when he fell. I was trying to pull him toward me from not falling and we both went down the whole flight of steps. I thank God that we didn’t get bruised. That day I called my heart, my son and he said, “mom enough is enough we’re calling Samaritan.” And I was just happy as a lark to see them because they were so wonderful and helpful.
Volunteering and helping – even in a small way — gives me a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been volunteering in Medical Records for five years. I help with filing, making packets for new patients and whatever else they ask me to do. The medical records team feels like my family! The positive atmosphere at the office makes me smile and feel wonderful!

The Weitzman Family

Julie and Ian Weitzman“We didn’t set out to volunteer as a family; it was just something natural that happened. Samaritan has become a part of our lives and a member of our family,” said Julie. Ian, Eli, and Jacob volunteer at the gala and golf tournament. Read about their volunteer journey.

Teen Volunteers

If you’re under 18 and are looking for ways to volunteer at Samaritan Hospice, SamariTeens is a group of 14-17 year olds providing on-going support to Samaritan’s patients and families through visits, projects, and participation in annual events.

Jessica Minard

As part of SamariTeen’s Scholarship Program, Jessica Minard was awarded a $500 scholarship to help her start her educational career. Read more in Samaritan’s recent blog post >>

 

 

Amanda McNally 

Amanda McNally, a Seneca High School senior, recently accomplished something extraordinary — the Girl Scout Gold Award. “Project Pieces of Light” is her way to to give back, bring the community together, and support families with a loved one receiving hospice care. Read more >>

Pictured with Teen Volunteer Coordinator Sharon Wenner

Thrift Store Volunteers

Thrift Store Volunteers assist with duties normally performed in a retail setting such as greeting customers, setting up merchandise displays, completing sales transactions, sorting donations, and maintaining store cleanliness and an inviting environment.

Lorraine Boker

Samaritan Thrift in Westmont“I used Samaritan for my dad. They were wonderful. I wanted to give back for all they had done for him. I used to frequent the thrift store on Haddon Ave in Westmont. I knew that after I retired I wanted to volunteer there because everyone was so friendly. The good care my father got, I feel led me there.
I started at Westmont thrift right after I retired.

When my husband was dying, I immediately called Samaritan. There were there in what I felt were minutes to help me. Again, the care we received was wonderful. This is such a fulfilling experience at Samaritan. We are treated so well by the office, we feel so appreciated. Such a rewarding experience. I have made such good friends among the other volunteers and have formed lasting relationships.”

Nancy Ruggiano

“Volunteering for Samaritan was something that I wanted to do to give back to my community. After a few years of working at the thrift shop I realized that my volunteering was doing more for me than I could ever have imagined. Since I work full-time, my volunteering was limited to Saturdays at the thrift shop in Westmont. Under the fearless guidance of Janet Larson, the group takes pride in merchandising the goods that have been donated. The best feeling is when you know you’ve made a customer feel special. Many of the shoppers stopping in do not expect to have help for looking for items of interest. Or escorts who help carry large purchases out to their car. The thing I cherish the most is being part of a group of who have bonded and developed friendships as a result of volunteering. One particular Saturday when I was down in the dumps, and uplifting song came on the radio. Janet knew I needed cheering up, so she turned up the volume and we both started singing along. Even some customers joined in! Thank you for all you do Sally to keep our group together!”

Pet Therapy Volunteers

Pet therapy in a hospice setting provides comfort, support, and companionship through the use of an animal. Samaritan offers pet therapy through already-certified dogs because seeing and touching a furry friend brings peace and joy to families and is a welcome distraction from serious illness and end of life. Meet Samaritan’s pet therapy dogs